GOP 'Secret Memo' Targets Rod Rosenstein

Javier Stokes
January 30, 2018

Rosenstein reportedly approved an application to extend surveillance of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page because the Justice Department had reason to believe he was acting as a foreign agent for Russian Federation, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke with the Times.

President Donald Trump has recently echoed fellow Republicans in calling for a controversial memo House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes wrote about the Justice Department to be released - and we might now know why he's so eager.

A secret GOP memo hints that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could be targeted for his handling of a surveillance request against Carter Page, a campaign associate of President Donald Trump.

The document faulted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DOJ for failing to completely explain to the intelligence court judge in seeking the warrant that they were relying on information supplied by Christopher Steele, who compiled the disputed dossier that contains unsubstantiated claims about Trump's ties to Russian Federation, the newspaper said.

That memo, accusing Rosenstein of abusing FISA to surveil Page, is still classified, though Republicans and Trump want to declassify and release it, against the strident objections of Trump's own DOJ.

The dossier alleges that Page was the Trump campaign's contact with the Kremlin and that he met secretly in July 2016 with two Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin. To obtain the warrant, the officials needed to show "probable cause" that Page was acting as an agent of Russian Federation.

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Page has vehemently denied the dossier's allegations and has claimed he is the victim of a witch hunt.

The Times report did not reveal the evidence Rosenstein relied on to authorize an extension of the surveillance. In a letter last May, Page asked Rosenstein, a former US attorney in Baltimore, to provide documents that were used for the surveillance warrant. Trump considered the letter another example of the Justice Department's political motivations, sources told Bloomberg.

The committee could hold a vote on the memo as early as Monday.

It has also been reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department obtained a FISA warrant against Page in 2014.

Trump and some Republicans have decried the memo, parts of which are reportedly unverified, as being a politically motivated fabrication.

Page denies that he was recruited by the Russians and has also said that he cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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